Buffalo may not look like much. They may not get as much news worthy appearances much like the Raiders. But this will be a tough game, so I present my Key's to the game.
- Run the Ball: One of, if not THE most important key to the game. The Bills run defense is still suspect, and now they are going up against the best rushing team in the league. We need to establish a running game because Campbell may be without his 3 starting WRs.... again, and we must wear their defense down, and create a passing game through our running game. We may have no problem doing this, but I am not entirely sure how good the Bill's run defense has been since last year. In either case though, a running game is vital for this team.
- Stop the run: Fred Jackson is no slouch by any stretch. He is a very very powerful runner, and he has speed and awareness. Our run defense will be greatly tested this game. I am confident in our DL to slow him down greatly, but our OLBs are still suspect until proven otherwise. If they can run the ball on us, they will beat us with play-action and passes, and that;s something we cannot happen.
OL vs. DL: This goes for both sides of the ball. On defense, how our DL will play should reflect how our defense will play overall. The Bill's don't really have a good OL, so getting to Fitz, and sacking him, will put them in position to only pass the ball because they will be in 2nd and long, and 3rd and long passing situations. Vice Versa, our OL must protect Campbell. Their front seven should pose a much better challenge than the Bronco's OL, and it would be great if Campbell was left untouched so he can make his reads on throws, and it would be key to help get our running game going.
- Routt vs. Johnson: Fitz's favorite target is pretty much Stevie Johnson. If Routt can get rid of that deep threat one on one, than our passing defense will get a great load off their shoulders. Johnson is talented, as is Routt. If they can pass deep on us, our passing defense will get spread out, and Fitz may be able to pick us apart. How our DL does is a factor in here, but if Routt can shut down Johnson than our defense will be much much better off.
- Score TDs: We can't rely on field goals against the Bills. We must score TDs, and force the Bills to pass to catch up with us. Easier said than done though. Without our 3 starting WRs, this will be tough to do unless they show us something in the regular season. Hopefully Kevin Boss plays this week to help us out with this. As long as we have long drives though, field goals will be fine if it means resting our defense. But having a long drive plus getting TDs, will not only boost our morale, but will put the Bills in a tough position to get a TD to keep up.
- Keep them guessing: Mix it up a bit on both sides of the ball. Make it tough for Fitz to figure us out, and catch their defense of guard. I hope to see some wildcat-like formations, and McFadden passing the ball out of it (he has a good arm. lol). We must be diverse, and try to not be one dimensional.
I believe that is all I can think of for now. My prediction for this game will be 24-17. Raiders.